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Flow Cytometry Core Facility

Facility Overview

The Flow Cytometry Facility, located at UMass Medical School in Worcester, provides a wide variety of cytometry services for internal and external investigators with state-of-the-art sorting and analyzing capabilities.

For analysis we currently have four BD LSRII cytometers equipped with 3, 4, or 5 lasers and HTS, a Cytek Aurora with 3 lasers, a MACSQuant VYB with 3 lasers and HTS, and an Amnis FlowSight imaging cytometer.

Our cell sorters include 4 FACS Aria II/IIu with various capabilities and a 4 laser Sony SH800. Sorters are available for BSL-2 through BSL-3 conditions. Also available are the AUTOMACS magnetic bead cell separator and the Fluidigm C1 single-cell IFC system. 

All of our instruments other than the BSL-3 sorter are available for investigator self-use after training is completed. We encourage all investigators to come to the main lab at S5-322 and learn how flow cytometry can be applied to their research.

What is flow cytometry?

Cytometry is the measurement of physical/chemical characteristics of cells or other biological particles. In flow cytometry, these measurements are made as cells in fluid suspension pass, one by one, through a measurement apparatus, the flow cytometer. Flow cytometry is performed on single cell suspensions and is not appropriate for analysis of cell clumps. Flow cytometry provides discrete measurements from each cell in the sample. This provides a distribution rather than an average of the measured characteristics in the cell sample.

Why use flow cytometry?

  • Thousands to millions of cells can be analyzed in a short period of time.
  • Provides statistical information very quickly.
  • Flexibility in the acquisition of data.
  • Ability to reanalyze archived data.
  • Increased sensitivity and specificity
  • Separate up to four target populations simultaneously.

Flow Cytometry allows the simultaneous measurement of:

  • Relative Cell Size
  • Internal Cellular Complexity
  • Relative Fluorescence Intensity
  • Multiple color/parameter analysis